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Client Perceptions of Parish Nursing


Debra C. Wallace UNCG School of Nursing, 210 Moore Building, Greensboro, NC 27402.E-mail:


The purpose of this study was to examine parish nursing from a client's perspective.Parish nursing is a relatively new health delivery model that has rarely been investigated. In order to describe the client perception, an ethnographic approach was used. The convenience sample included clients from two congregations in a southeastern Appalachian area served by parish nurses. Face-to-face client interviews were conducted, and the Spradley's ethnographic approach to data analysis of transcripts was used. Each interview was analyzed separately by the research group for patterns and meanings reflecting the emic perspective. Five themes of client perception of parish nursing emerged from the data: (1) being available, (2) integrating spirituality and health, (3) helping us help ourselves, (4) exploring parish nursing, and (5) evaluating parish nursing.Clients perceived having a parish nurse as positive and beneficial for individuals, the congregation, the church, and community. Parish nursing was viewed as a useful, meaningful, and effective health intervention and setting, and parish nurses were viewed as effective and meaningful health providers. Further exploration of the effectiveness of this nursing delivery model is warranted.